Deborah Ben-Canaan, Partner and the Senior Practice Leader for In-House Counsel Recruiting, is a seasoned legal recruiter and subject-matter expert on the legal market. Since 2001, she has placed more than 900 senior-level legal leaders in corporate legal departments across the U.S. and assisted her U.S. clients in making strategic placements overseas with the support of our EMEA and APAC teams. She brings this deep experience into her role as Senior Practice Leader, where she works with CEOs, boards, CHROs and general counsel at organizations of all sizes to help them shape, grow and develop their legal departments. She also serves as a mentor to more junior recruiters within the firm helping them learn the intricate details of recruiting and career advising.
Having lived on both coasts and completed searches for organizations across the country, Deb understands the ins and outs of the domestic legal market. She maintains a deeply rooted network of legal leaders and influencers who rely on her for her insight and expertise, and she provides counsel to them on important talent management areas including diversity and inclusion, efficiency, talent acquisition and retention, and succession planning.
Deb brings a passion to her searches that invokes confidence in her clients and continually leads to long-term, trusted relationships. She takes the time to truly understand her clients' needs, cultures and dynamics and acts as a guide through the hiring process, taking the guesswork and stress out of hiring. While her sense of humor eases the pressures associated with the process and adds an element of fun, her no nonsense approach to identifying talent results in matches that transcend the basic position description needs and dig deeper into the EQ and cultural fit of each candidate. She was recognized for her expertise in Lawdragon’s 2020, 2021, and 2022 Global 100 Leaders in Legal Strategy & Consulting.
Outside the office, Deb spends her free time hanging out with her teenage daughter, cheering on the Penn State Nittany Lions football team and relaxing with her favorite red wine.
Prior to returning to the Washington, D.C., area in 2011 to head In-House Counsel Recruiting, Deb spent 11 years as a recruiter and leader of our Southern California In-House Counsel Recruiting team. She was instrumental in opening our San Diego office in 2001.
A subject-matter expert on the legal market, Deb regularly serves on industry panels speaking on a variety of topics, including leadership, compensation, the state of the legal market and what it takes to become a general counsel. She also regularly writes articles on these topics and has received numerous accolades for mentoring women and junior recruiters.
Deb is a former business litigator who practiced in the San Diego office of Gordon & Rees and with the well-established San Diego-based law firm, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch before entering legal recruiting.
The American University Washington College of Law: J.D., magna cum laude
Voted Best Oral Advocate on the East Coast, Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition
The Pennsylvania State University: B.S., with high distinction